Associated receives city banking contract

The Rockford City Council voted June 7 to award a three-year banking contract to Associated Bank. The contract gives Associated Bank control over the city’s commercial banking, credit card processing, purchasing cards and lock box payments.

Andres Sammul, director of the city’s Finance Department, sent a memo to Mayor Doug Scott and the City Council reporting the results of the city’s request for proposals.

Sammul’s report listed four area banks that were ranked by a composite score of five criteria including cost, location, ability to provide service, community involvement and complete response. The report strongly favored Associated Bank, but there was some debate among the council as to how fair the ranking process was.

Sammul favored a comprehensive contract, but the Finance Department would have also allowed awards on a per-item basis, if the council saw fit. Alderman Jeff Holt (D-11) suggested an amendment to the bill that would have awarded lock box services to Associated Bank, but the rest of the services to AMCORE Bank.

Holt said he supported AMCORE because of the bank’s outstanding involvement in the community, pointing out that AMCORE employs 800 people in Rockford and donated $1.2 million to the community last year. Holt also said most of Associated Bank’s processing is done outside the state, while AMCORE’s processing is done in Rockford.

The amendment was defeated 8-6.

Alderman Robert Greene (R-1), who voted against the amendment, said: “I don’t deal with the banks on a day-to-day basis, the Finance Committee does. So I would strongly favor their recommendation.”

The City of Rockford is expected to save around $75,000 during the three-year contract with Associated Bank.

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